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PubMed

Steps to a Successful Search

The PubMed Search Screen

The search screen below is the starting point for all PubMed database searches. Once you have decided on the keywords you want to search, type one of your keywords into the search bar.  We recommend you use MeSH terms, accessed by the drop-down box to the left.  More information on MeSH can be found via the MeSH tab on the left.

Searching with PubMed

Let's say that you want to know the connection between high blood pressure and varicose veins.  

  1. Select "MeSH" in the drop-down menu next to the search box.
  2. Type your first subject (high blood pressure) into the search box, and click "Search."
  3. You will see either one MeSH that matches your search terms or a list of MeSH terms to choose from.  Click the box in front of the one you want, click "Add to Search Builder," then click "Search PubMed."  You will get a list of appropriate citations;  over 165,000 in this case.
  4. Next, search on your next subject.  You will again get a list of related citations;  over 13,500 for varicose veins.

 

Combining Searches

Now you need to find articles that pertain to both hypertension and varicose veins.  We'll do this by combining the searches. To find your searches, click the Advanced link beneath the search box.  

In Advanced Search, you will see your search history.  In this case, we want articles that pertain to hypertension AND varicose veins.  Clicking the Add button next to each search will add it to the search builder, which defaults to AND. Click "Search" beneath the search builder.  A search for articles that pertain to both of these subjects yields 111 citations. 

AND, OR, NOT - often called Boolean Operators, those are the choices for combining search terms.   For more information, see the guide AND, OR and NOT - Which to Choose?  at the left of this page.

 

 

Limiting Your Results

We can refine these 111 results by using the filters to the left.  For example, by choosing Humans as the subject, and adding English as the language (using the "Show additional filters" option at the bottom of the filters list), we fine-tune our results to 25 articles. For more help using filters in PubMed, click the "Filters" tab to the left.

 

Saving Citations to RefWorks

That's it!  You now have 25 citations that match your search criteria.  At this point, you probably want to add your citations to RefWorks or another citation management system. For help adding your citations to RefWorks, click the Saving PubMed Results to RefWorks tab to the left.

 

 

Maps and Directions

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